Author Archives: W.E. Peterson

Zen master of hitting

I played last Sunday and had a bases loaded at bat in like the 6th inning. Guy pitching was real good 12 years ago in the regular league, was a borderline 90 mph lefthander. Now in the 35+ league, he wasn’t anywhere near that. Mighta been 80mph. Which is crisp enough certainly, not ‘slow’.

I’d popped out and struck out looking in the two previous at bats. They were competitive at bats, but they seemed ‘strained’… which is often the feeling actually. So this third time, runners on, I just step into the box and get all zen, hold bat nice and loose and ya know, my feet and legs aren’t all coiled with tension.

So ball comes down from the mound, I’m totally chill and zoned out. Inside pitch, middle half, belt high. I nearly hit a home run except it didn’t have any loft. But I pulled it like a pull hitter. Left fielder fell down turning around, it went over his head so quick.

Couple things:

· I can’t hit and drive the inside pitch consciously. For me to try is to try to time the swing with a stride. My hands are never in the right spot to put the inside pitch into the field assertively when I “try and stride”. I hit the inside pitch when I’m ZENing. / ZONEing though. Magically, my hands are out in front where they need to be.

· So, the “no stride” swing was my cage swing this winter, and I’ve brought it into a game here successfully… That’s an achievement.

· In the old days it was astonishing to me to have zoned out and gotten base hits off guys I had no business hitting. Probably did it 3, 4 times, got hits off guys who threw about 90 (and struck out a bunch of other times). With advanced age and practice now I can almost get trance-y on command and hit a line drive.

· Hitting this way, it’s very much like Luke Skywalker having a light saber battler with that floating training drone.

· I’m thinking of skydivers or BASE jumpers claiming a natural high, doing what they do. I feel something like that when I drift into the zone and get a base hit. Not terribly adrenaline charged, but I gotta think a similar feeling.

· The mind is an amazing thing

· The local community of Sabermetric geeks is somewhat outraged the Twins are trying to acclimate Byron Buxton to the old Paul Molitor ‘no stride’ swing. I think the geeks are wrong.

I went and saw a foreign film last night

“Sami Blood” at Saint Anthony Main.  My wife figured this all out, she has good taste.  And she thinks shes a Sami, thinks her line has Sami eyes.  She could be right.

Kinda a chichi experience there, the film and café snack after.  I glance at the web now and see chichi is basically a pejorative.  I don’t mean it that way.  It was cool.  More stylish / hip than exurban bedroom communities for sure.  That’s a hip spot, St. Anthony Falls, though it’s not exactly a youngish crowd what with all the affluent condos.  Seemed more 40-70 ish, white, liberal, professional (lawyers and architects…)

“Sami Blood”…. Tear jerker.  Quite a filmatic piece of work.

Reuben after at the Wilde Roast may take the top spot on my Reuben list.

They cant get me out

I returned to amateur ball last year.  I found myself a spot in a 35+ league, at which point… I might have been the oldest guy in the league at 47.  Maybe.  Outer edge for sure.

And I sucked, hit about .150 with a bunch of strikeouts.  So, the rational thing was to play another season right.

I feel like they can’t get me out this year.  They actually have, of course, gotten me out.  I’m hitting .250, 1 for 4 (small sample size so far) 2 walks, 1 run.  But, hitting line drives.

I went to the cage in Hudson over the winter quite a bit, and no doubt it helped.  But the other thing is, I quit Adderall.  Was on it about 8 years for adult ADHD.

Quit it because my blood pressure was borderline high, and it seemed sensible to understand that one had to take an off ramp on the whole deal sooner or later.  Probably before late middle age.

Well, one of the things that happened was… I don’t feel this ambient dizziness that I think I felt for 8 years.

Just remarking, because I don’t think I ever read Adderall screwed up your balance.

I like Adderall, by the way.  But, it is speed, nothing more.